By: Mark Fitzgerald

Union Angry About Layoffs, Cutbacks

Newspaper Guild members at nine Knight Ridder Inc. daily
newspapers were planning to conduct actions at their workplaces
Wednesday to protest layoffs and editorial cutbacks that the
union says “are being implemented to meet unreasonable profit
goals at the expense of readers, employees, and advertisers.”

Specifically, the union is upset at the impending layoffs of 10
Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal newsroom employees. The
Guild, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America,
says it “shares the concerns” of Jay Harris, the San Jose
Mercury News publisher who resigned in protest of what he
said were damaging cutbacks at the Knight Ridder paper.

“These kind of cutbacks hurt the quality of journalism,” Guild
President Linda Foley said.

Among the actions that were planned: Union workers at the
Mercury News were to hold a mass break called “Take 5 at
3.” Beacon Journal Guild members planned to protest
layoffs at their paper by shutting down their computers at 5 p.m.
and standing in silence at their desks for five minutes.
Journalists at the nine Knight Ridder papers with unionized
newsrooms were planning to wear buttons with the message “people
before profits.”

“We’re not doing anything to disrupt service to our readers,”
Henry Holcomb, a Guild representative at Philadelphia Newspapers
Inc., told the Philadelphia Weekly alternative paper. “The
corporation has done enough of that already.”

Mark Fitzgerald ( is editor at large for E&P.

Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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